Residents in the German city where Inishowen man Enda McLaughlin was killed have been left “extremely shocked” by events.
Tom Bristow, editor of ‘The Local’ in Germany spoke to the ‘Journal’ yesterday about the reaction in the country to the Carndonagh man’s death.
The 27-year-old, from Glentogher, died when he was struck by a car on the A4 motorway at Aachen, near Duren, on Monday, after allegedly stabbing three people.
Fingerprint information from Ireland, which was required for formal identification, was reportedly sent to German police yesterday.
Mr Bristow said Aachen was a “quiet city” which “is not a crime spot.”
He said: “It’s a lovely cathedral city, with a lot of history. It’s definitely not a crime spot or the sort of place where you’d expect something like this to happen.
But Enda McLaughlin had no travel restrictions placed upon him and was free to travel about.We still don’t know what Enda McLaughlin was intending to do or where exactly he wanted to go.”
Mr McLaughlin is alleged to have stabbed a taxi driver, a passer by and a lorry driver on the route between Heerlen, Netherlands and Aachen on Monday.
The events which shocked Germany and Ireland unfolded when a taxi driver collected a fare in Heerlen town, Netherlands, The passenger got into the front seat and asked to be driven 20km acros the border to Aachen. It has been reported the driver confirmed he took the fare as the passenger did not seem to be under the influence of drink or drugs.
The passenger left the taxi without paying and was pursued by the driver, who was then stabbed in the stomach. Money was then demaded from a passer by, who refused and was also stabbed.
Then man then got into another taxi at Aachen rank. The driver received a warning and sped away, leaving the man at a rest stop. As he was calling police, an Estonian truck driver was stabbed.
All three men are understood to be recovering in hospital. McLaughlin was killed when he ran on to a motorway, where he was struck by a Mercedes, driven by a British couple.
Mr McLaughlin’s sister Catherine, said her brother, who has a substantial number of previous convictions, “never grew up” and was “like a child.”
She said that despite several stints in prison, he did not get the help he needed for his mental health issues.
She said: “Treatment would have served him and society better. Our health and justice ministers need to wake up to the mental health crisis in this country, or we will have more cases like this.”
She said: ““Our only consolation is that he’s in a better place now. I know he’s in a better place.”